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Cley Next the Sea

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  East Anglia  /  Norfolk  /  Holt  /  Cley Next the Sea
Cley next the Sea or, Anglo-Saxon Clæg "clay", is a village on the River Glaven in Norfolk, England, 4mi north-west of Holt and east of Blakeney. The main A149 coast road runs through the centre of the village, causing congestion in the summer months due to the tight, narrow streets. It lies within the Norfolk Coast AONB and the North Norfolk Heritage Coast.HistoryThe Grade I listed medieval church of St Margaret's, Cley is the largest church in the Blakeney Haven area. The huge nave dates from 1320–1340. Before the end of the 14th century, a large south porch was added.A ruined building on the marshes is known as Blakeney Chapel; despite its name, it is in Cley parish, and probably never had a religious purpose.Cley was once one of the busiest ports in England, where grain, malt, fish, spices, coal, cloth, barley and oats were exported or imported. The many Flemish gables in the town are a reminder of trade with the Low Countries. But despite its name, Cley has not been "next the sea" since the 17th century, due to land reclamation. Some of the buildings that once lined the quay remain, notably the 18th-century Cley Windmill. The windmill was owned by the family of singer James Blunt for many decades and operated as a bed and breakfast. The mill was sold in 2006, but continues to operate as a bed and breakfast on a non-profit making basis. It was used as a backdrop of the 1949 film Conspirator with Elizabeth Taylor. Cley Mill has often been depicted by local artists and was the subject of a painting by the 20th century English landscape artist, Rowland Hilder.
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